Friday, September 17, 2010


My late apples are soon ripe enough to eat and make pie from now. I love that first bite of an apple just picked from the tree. I love apples and I think most other people does too. One that loved apples was a man called Johnny Applessed. I know most americans knows about him, but I´m not sure many outside america does. There are lots of stories about Johnny and most of them seems untrue. He did not have pots on his head and torn rags for clothes. But the clothes he did wear was of low quality, the clothes he had of better quality he always gave away to those whom he felt needed them better than he did. Neither did he randomly spread apple seeds on the roads he walked, but more about that later. He was however a missionary for "The church of new Jerusalem" or as we call it over here the Swedenborgian church. They followed the teaching of the Swedish scientist,Christian mystic, theologican and philosofer Emanuel Swedenborg.

Did You know that the apple originates from an area nowdays called Kazakhstan? Not long ago they had big apple forests but they have started to cut them down. This is a problem because we might need that genetic material for our modern apples. We had very many different kinds of apples grown and for sale not long ago, but nowdays they grow just a few varieties that they know we will buy. This is a big problem because then different pest attacks the apples and the farmers then uses loads of chemicals to kill them off.

So when a bunch of scientist in the US heard that these forests in Kazakhstan was cut down they travelled there and collected as many different seeds they could. Not once but twice. The result of these trips now grows in Geneva, New York. With this genetic material they now tries to find out a way to keep away these pests. But personally I think it would have been better to have a bigger variety of apples growing beside each other. But I am really happy that they went over there to collect those seeds!

But back to Johnny Appleseed. He didn´t randomly spread apple seeds on the roads he walked, but he started nurceries. He sowed the seeds he got for free from Cider producers. He walked to areas where he knew or thought settlers soon would come and bought some land. He fenced the land so cattle couldn´t get in there, sowed the seeds and hired someone to care for the little plants that had started to grow. When the trees was big enough to sell the care taker sold them and Johnny would then get his share. He normally wanted money, but was happy if he got cornmeal or used clothes. Sometimes he didn´t get anything but never argued about it.

These apple trees usually gave sour and bitter apples, not good for eating. But they were great for cider, hard cider that is with lots of alcohol. Back then the settlers knew that water could spread diseases so they never drank water, but they drank cider, hard cider instead even for breakfast. Because every one knows alcohol kills bacteria. This became a big problem until the temperance movement started and with that most of these sour, bitter apples dissapered. Johnny Appleseed never got rich on this business but he could have bought much better clothes than those he preferd to use.

I´m not sure You can see them, but there are two plastic red and yellow ribbons in the trees. I think it´s easiest to just follow the spruce from the bottom and up until You can see them. I think they mean that my favourite part of the forest will be cut down this winter.

This is a bit funny, but I have no photo of apples in my blog today :-) But I do have a bottle of sweet cider by my side, non alcoholic :-) There´s a fire in the stove and all the animals are sleeping upstairs.
Have a great day now!


Chris in the Emerald City said...

Hi Christer!

You have inspired me to pick up a jug of cider on the way home today, and pie might be in the future for the weekend now. I like mine with a thick slice of cheddar cheese on top. Yummmmm...

Have a groovy weekend!


oldblackcatboo said...

My apples have all now dropped off my little tree. I only picked a few and the rest pretty much went to waste because they all had brown spots again. I know that you said it was some sort of fungus and I sprayed them but I think I sprayed too late.
I did notice that all my apples were half eaten every morning....I have no idea what kind of animal had been eating them!

Alen Trädgård said...

Intressant att höra om Johnny Appleseed:) Äter ingen frukt längre (äter LCHF) men innan åt jag nog mest äpplen om jag åt frukt. Ha en trevlig helg/Monne

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Chris!
I like all kinds of cider, sweet or hard cider :-) But I have never heard of anyone eating apple pie with cheddar cheese :-) I´ll just have to tryb it next gtime I make pie :-)

Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Cindi!
My early apples all fell to the gound at the same time one night :-) They always does for some reason. But my late apples needs one or two more weeks to ripe and they will stay on the tree for a long time, perhaps all winter if I don´t pick them. That makes the birds happy :-)

Spray them in late winter, just before spring starts and the leafs comes. Water and bakingsoda usually works great!

It could be wasps that has eaten Your apples. They do do here in late summer early autumn. They also eats on my plums.

Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hejsan Monne!
Ja han är något alla amerikanska barn får höra om. Men jag kan för mitt liv inte minnas varför jag vet att han existerade. Men det är ett interresant livsöde.

Ja då förstår jag att du inte äter äpplen, det skulle förstöra allt. Kanske därför som jag slutade rätt fort med LCHF, jag saknade frukten alldeles för mycket :-)

Ha det gott!

Anonymous said...

I thought the Johny was only in this country. How sad to find he was traveling yours. He still owes me a Sweatshirt from Notre Dame. Oh well. Guess I can chalk that one up to a loss. But I love apples too and yes! You should have had some pictured today after that lengthy and interesting story. Glad yours turned out OK, good enough to eat. I Love apple pie.

SharleneT said...

Definitely apple season... loved the history and finetuning of my Johnny Appleseed memory... I understand about the variety of apples helping reduce the pest problems but we seem to be a world of people who just can't seem to figure it out before total destruction... the photos are great, as usual, and the narrative wonderful... hope all is well and that you didn't down all that cider at one sitting... come visit when you can...

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Z&M!
No, no he never was near our country. He is a part of the american history only. But he did belkong to that chuich that has its roots here. I can´t remember why I know of him at all to be honest but I do and it is an interesting history.

I was thinking about writing about Johnny Appleseed all day, but totally forgot to take some photos of any apples :-) :-) :-)

Have a great day now!

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Hi Sharlene!
I do hope that my apples aren´t attacked by any moth larvaes this year. Normally I have very few pwests on my apples, but years when theres almost no rowan-berries there´s a moth that puts its eggs on aplles instead. We have no rowan-berries at all this year around here.

I´m totally convinced that You are right about us humans.

It was a non alcoholic cider, so I finished the bottle quite fast :-)

Have a great day now!

NinaVästerplana said...

Vilken intressant människa.... bara o komma på idén o se till att förutsättningarna för cidertillverkning finns på plats när människor förväntas flytta till ett område ;-)
Blev riktigt nyfiken på vart du ämnar dig på söndag.... ja förutom till vallokalen då. Undrar om det är en Gunnera vi ska få se igen?
Hoppas du får en riktigt gôrgo helg

The cottage by the Cranelake said...

Tjänare Nina!

Jovisst är han en interesant person. Om det var rikedom han velat ha hade han lätt kunnat få det, men pengar var inte speciellt viktigt för honom.

Jovisst har du rätt! Det blir sista gången jag får en chans att komma den så nära så jag måste ta chansen :-)

Ha det gott!